good versus evil

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by exastra, Sep 21, 2003.

  1. exastra

    exastra Established Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is no good or bad, right or wrong. Only harmless and harmful.
    We tend to (erroneously) judge as evil that which we consider to be hostile against us, if not to us. The less threatened we feel (but not necessarily are) by some thing, the less evil it seems (but not necessarily is no threat or harm)... the less inclined we are to regard it as evil. Because it is no longer interpreted as harmful, and so ceases to be harmful.
    With increased tolerances of difference, perhaps we may even become beyond terms of good and evil.
    However, good and evil exist inconsiderate of us; whether we identify and recognize them or not.
    True evil is malicious intent-- will to harm; while true good is benevolent intent.
    No one is or can be purely good or purely evil. The choice between being good or evil is as being alive or dead. We have the capacity for degrees of both. But we cannot equally and simultaneously exist as one and the other. There is necessarily a varied ratio; predominately one or the other (by choice and/ or disposition).
    Evil is equated with darkness because it conceals, is of the unknown or unseen. Good is equated with light because it reveals, is of the known or seen. But the light can also conceal truth, and the dark can also reveal truth. A majority of good distracts from a minority of evil; as a majority of evil distracts from a minority of good. If the light is most obvious, then the evil is less noticable; if the dark is most obvious, then the good is less noticable. But like yin and yang, the light and dark... the good and evil exist within each other and because of each other; defining each other in symbiosis. Therefore, they are not always easy to recognize, until the critical moment of revelation. One must be willing to look and see deeply within each for their own truths; whether it be a truth of the light, of the dark, or of your self.
    They exist as such in both literal and figurative terms. Darkness is an aspect of evil, but not the evil itself. Light is an aspect of good, but not the good itself.
    Jesus claimed to be the light and the way. Lucifer and Prometheus were punished for bringing divine light to humanity. The Illuminati are so named because they are illuminated by knowledge. Carl Jung has labeled the hidden facets of the psyche "shadow". These are not merely figures of speech. Light is awareness; dark is a lack of or disregard for awareness (ignorance).
    Such awareness is based on knowledge of our selves, and the absence is in choosing to act against the Golden Rule (karma).
    Why is Lucifer considered evil? Negative propoganda campaign which deliberately misunderstands his role. Lucifer Morningstar-- a.k.a. Bringer of Light-- illuminates hidden truths of our soul by tempting us to question the unknown, and to explore our darker side to reveal the light. Because without evil, there is no good. But the Church seeks to discredit, devalue and defame him and his purpose, by labeling him the adversary and the deceiver. And the Church distorts reality into a simplistic --and therefore falacious-- duality of black and white, ignoring the grey of truth... the truth of grey. Alas, missing the vital component of context. Lucifer, like God, is merely metaphor.
    The means utilized may be evil, but the end is good. Whether his intentions are malevolent or benevolent, Lucifer wishes to bring us divine light. If he brings us that light directly or indirectly, it is still brought to us. God and we should be more grateful that Lucifer tells us the truth we may not want to hear, but certainly need to hear... and are eventually made better for it as we learn from our mistakes.
    Lucifer's (and Prometheus's) only "crime" was a desire to choose, and to bring that power of choice to humanity. The conflict between God and Lucifer is the same one within each of us:
    balancing good with evil.
    Someone is malicious because he/ she acts ignorantly or in spite of knowing better.
    Remember that a person may DO good or evil, but not necessarily BE it.
    One may engage a fascination with elements of the light or the dark, without succumbing fully to either; as a goth does with the macabre without necessarily becoming evil, or as a Christian might with his religion without necessarily becoming good.
    Everything is variations of energy... including thought. Therefore, good and evil are natural independent forces, manifested through consciousness (which extends throughout time and space; corporeal and non-corporeal realms).
    Because good is defined in relation to evil, the existence of one automatically implies the other.

    www.geocities.com/exastra/paradox.htm
     
  2. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    10
    I'll take you up with an analysis. :)

    Agreed with you so far - "good" and "evil" as personal and cultural perceptions.

     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    12,137
    Likes Received:
    2,487
    I think the error here is in confusing an absolute with a relative expression.

    That something can be 'a lesser evil' or a 'greater good' is a matter of degree, it does not alter the fact of 'good' or 'evil' as such. If we look at the manifestation, it is always subject to limitation and contingency, but the effect nevertheless points to the cause, and the cause to a source.

    In metaphysical terms the Good corresponds to Reality and Truth, all three being expression of the Divine Will in that what God wills is Real (God causes it to be), is True (it is what God wills it to be) and is Good (because God wills it).

    As God does not will evil, it is not the compliment of good, but the absence of it.

    Good subsists in God. Evil subsists in nothing.

    There is a Buddhist story:

    A young monk is captured by a demon. To escape, he is given three choices, to make love to a woman, to eat a goat, or to drink alcohol.

    The monk thinks, "I have taken a vow of chastity, so I cannot lie with the woman. I have sworn to protect all life, so I cannot harm the goat. I have sworn not to touch alcohol, but of the three, this is surely the lesser evil, no great harm can come of it." So he elects to drink the alcohol.

    The liquor is strong, and the monk unused to strong drink. He quickly becomes intoxicated, loses self control, slaughters the goat, and rapes the woman.

    The moral? There is no such thing as a 'lesser evil' because we cannot forsee the consequences of our actions.
     
  4. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    10
    That's a good moral. :eek:
     
  5. exastra

    exastra Established Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    elaboration

    I, Brian... i will attempt to address your concerns...will to harm intends harm to another; the ends may be benevolent, but the means is always malicious.and murder CAN be justified: when it is probable that someone will cause harm to others and death is the only/ best means of deterring the threat.if you kill someone for their own good, you are not wishing them harm, since the death benefits them.taking a parent’s children away for the good of the children (or the parent) is not malicious, even if harm is coincidentally caused... so it is not a will to harm.yes, my argument went beyond the definition of good and evil initially established because the entire post is an elaboration on the concept. i’m not sure what your point was in stating that. you seem to be saying that it didn’t make sense because it didn’t make sense TO YOU.We are ordinarily evil when we wish harm to others.also, if we tend to fear the unknown, we are threatened by it. if we are threatened by it, we presume it to be harmful... therefore, an evil (or aspect of). we often approach the unknown warily, because we fear its potential to harm us.fear is an element of evil, because it motivates us to approach the unknown in an attack position; i.e.- wishing it harm.darkness, as something generally feared (as an unknown), becomes an aspect of evil in that fear of it. that’s not forced, it is a natural and logical conclusion extended from my proposed definitions.darkness is associated with evil in a subjective sense, but an aspect of in an objective sense.my ultimate point is that good and evil are both subjective and objective.i propose that it is objective, because we can recognize something as indicative of evil; such as gothic imagery which instills a sense of the demonic intuitively rather than sociologically. so it must be something independent of our subjective estimations. regarding the assertion of Lucifer playing the role of Prometheus, i do not recall specific sources. but he has been identified as Lucifer Morningstar... The Bringer of Light. insubstantiation in the bible is irrelevant; as the text is biased. Lucifer was “banished” from heaven to Earth for questioning and wanting to improve himself. one questions to discover truth, and challenges to become better. this inquisitive and challenging nature is demonstrated to us by Lucifer. Karma is essentially “what goes around comes around” or “you get what you give“. if you hurt me deliberately, then i am obliged to hurt you. or if you help me, i am obliged to help you. therefore, it is a representation of the Golden Rule, which is “do to others as you would expect done to you“. Good and Evil ARE distinct and separate entities (from us and from each other). however, we can only be a derivation or agent of them. therefore, diluted emanations.being neither pure good (white) nor evil (black), we thus exist in/ as the grey between extremes. everything consists of both aspects; because everything has potential for both good and bad applications/ interpretations.an evil can cause good, a good can cause evil. nothing is fully on or the other, only impressions of the idealized form.based on the understanding of the definitions as i’ve laid out here, the conclusions are logical extrapolations. there is no room for debate within these parameters. so, anyone who contests these conclusions must offer their own counter definitions with their own logical conclusions. but while i am satisfied that my own premise is valid and adequate, i recognize i may have overlooked some perspective, and am open to alternative interpretations. darkness defined the light just as much as the light defined the darkness. why do you presume that light is inherently and automatically active and dark is passive?darkness is not merely the absence of light, but the presence of dark. just as light is not merely the absence of dark.Yin and Yang-- whether 2 or 3 dimensional-- are still dualistic (but not necessarily adversarial) concepts of balance, regardless of your preference. could you please further explain your helix imagery? In response to Thomas: we can only be responsible for our actions, not their consequences. if our intent is to cause harm, then it is evil. if it is to cause no harm, it is good. note, however, that one may intend evil (harm) to achieve a good, and intend good to achieve an evil.yet there are indeed degrees along a spectrum between good and evil.a lesser evil would be what we determine/ intend to do towards committing less harm in relation to something we deem a greater harm.
     
  6. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    10
    Certainly my comments are from my own perception - though I am also trying to push the subject as a discussion issues. :)

    The trouble is, we are talking about a complex set of constructs - which are in themselves would seem entirely cultural and personal. So trying to extract an "objective truth" of an external force of evil in the universe from this aspect is going to seem limited.


    My personal simplification of the issue of one of "selfishness versus selflessness". Even then, as with your own argument, it falls apart under certain arguments. Personal intention is not equitable with overall action, in that well-meaning action may have horrible consequence.

    The specific objection that always comes to mind is that of serial killers who murder because they believe God told them. Now, how can any of us judge that God is wrong and therefore such serial killers are also wrong? The only way to do this is to ignore their own personal morality and impose our own personal morality. Now how is that further complicated if these serial killers honestly think that they are doing something good and just?

    So far as I can tell, your own personal definition of "evil" would exonerate such people of any wrong-doing.

     
  7. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    1
    good and evil revisited

    Thomas narrates about the monk seized by a demon, compelled to make one of three choices, and choosing to drink:
    This story appears to teach that there is no way out of certain situations, and that we just have to be resigned to unforeseen forces of one action leading to another and another.

    Is it a story to make us adopt an impassive attitude and eschew all sense of decision and responsibility?

    For me, the monk makes the right choice and he will be acquitted of slaughtering the goat and raping the woman, should such events follow – i.e., if I were a rational God and not a robotized one.

    The monk can foresee that he might lose control, then kill the goat and rape the woman, but he might not, and with greater probability. Since he is a monk, he should already have been conditioned to be normally well-behaved even when induced to a drunken stupor.

    The idea that alcoholic intoxication leads to violence is not really so true. I would suspect that normally well-behaved people will not turn unruly when intoxicated; the trouble is with people not normally well-behaved. There are phases of alcoholic intoxication, though. But I think that the labs will prove my contention.

    Evil is for me the choice of an emotional satisfaction or drive to the harm of another. Thus in many instances to satisfy the emotion of envy a person destroys the good name or obstructs the advancement of others. Another example, to satisfy the greed for more oil one country invades another. Still another, to satisfy libido one forces sex on another, whereas he should ask humbly and patiently; and be disposed to take no for an answer.

    The kind of evil above is an essential evil in mankind. Then there is the evil that is proscribed by society, in accordance with what society thinks to be for the good of the whole social body; even though later in more enlightened times with changed circumstances the advantage imagined to be obtained should no longer exist. For example, one should marry first before having sex, that is the rule then and still binding in many societies.

    Nowadays, however, with the science and technology of contraception practically failsafe for knowledgeable practitioners, sex without marriage is no longer evil in the estimation of the general Westernized public -- but just observe the demands of justice in regard to parties bound to the contracted duty of monogamic fidelity.

    I would like to hear from Thomas or Brian more situations where a moral choice has to be made; I like to analyze the situations in my own conception of good and evil. Many such moral stories-situations are not really impossible to resolve on the basis of my theories.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  8. IlluSionS667

    IlluSionS667 Eurasian spiritualist

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is good for one person sometimes is bad for another. What is good for an individual sometimes bad for the common welfare and vice versa. What is evil to on person may be normal or acceptable for another and vice versa.

    Evil and good are both subjective. There is no objective good and evil. And both are oposites of the same essence.
     
  9. shannon

    shannon Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    You think so? Or are you just saying that because it's simple and absolves you of any responsibility for anything absolute?

    Can Malice and Compassion be compared to Evil and Good?
    Are Malice and Compassion subjective?

    No they are not. Malice is like Evil and Compassion is like Good. Each have very distinct and differing properties.

    For instance, Malice is in part composed of a selfish desire usually which will knowingly cause pain to another. Compassion is in part composed of an unselfish action which will knowingly cause upliftment to another. What I'm trying to suggest is that these things ARE objective in a way, and not entirely subjective see?

    The tired analogy of 'opposites being 2 ends of the same spectrum' only works if you are stuck in no more than 3 dimensions. It is an immature ideology of (as I read somewhere else here... ) New Age 101.

    As we know. Dark is the absense of Light and Cold is the absense of Heat. These are scientifically verifiable facts. Dark and Cold have no existance in and of themselves but only as compared to degrees of Light and Heat.

    The same is with Evil. It is the absense of Good. That is why the saying "All it takes for things to go to hell is for Good people to do nothing".

    Good exists just like light and heat, and Evil does not, just like dark and cold. It is the absense of Good.

    ... my friend, just for a moment... imagine... 'what if there was a God who loved me, created me, and saw and knew everything about me?'
     
  10. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    10
    True, personal motivation is clear in the moral compass of the individual - but what about when different cultures meet and their moral compasses do not properly match, and the same action is seen is critically different ways?
     
  11. khut

    khut Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is god good?

    Not in the way most people think of as good.

    if god is good why do we have death desease and famine, cant god fix it, or is he/she/it too lazy.

    why would god send his own son to be beaten, tortured, and slowly killed in the most painfull way possible just so he/she/it can forgive us our sins.
    Why not just forgive us our without going thru all that.
    Thats just plain mean.
     
  12. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    10
    In the days when it was seen as God's responsibility, Europeans simply threw their bodily wastes into the street. I figure I'm glad we took it as an issue of human responsibility to deal with it. :)
     
  13. mahogan

    mahogan tgyhuj

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like the start of Plato's 'Republic', where they send their slaves off to get some papers before they start discussing democratic government.

    Good and Bad are perhaps the most flexible terms we have. When one group claim they are right, whoever is arguing against them simply points out the effects that those actions have on another. Using the example of any war - both sides kill, both sides can quote atrocities by the other and both claim the other started it.

    Even 'do unto others...' can come unstuck when you start to trade globally (should I wear cheap clothes made in a sweat shop), or animal food - I wouldn't like a sheep to cut my throat and hang me over a trough by my feet.
     
  14. 'ol perfessor

    'ol perfessor New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    The disease of modernism is that there are no absolutes. Therefore its ok if you think so and ok if I think so ad nauseum. Eventually the conflicts of the past and present distill those huge differences of opinion that say....outlaw slavery, instill democracy and freedom etc. THERE ARE ABSOLUTES. They are outlined in the 10 commandments. They are beautifully stated in our Declaration of Independence and further in our Constitution. Don't kid yourself or me. We strive for our world to get better. America, the Lord, Christianity,(a gift that is free, a God that asks for nothing except the recognition of the greatest gift to receive it.) There is one God! Should I continue? Or is the glint of recognition that the world is a better place when one knows that there is something beyond him. the excitable 'ol perfessor
     
  15. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    10
    Hi 'ol perfessor, and welcome to CR. :)
     
  16. mahogan

    mahogan tgyhuj

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    'America, the Lord and Christianity' - that is some sentence!

    The Declaration of Independence? I remember a lot of non-white people dying for that a long time after it was written. Does God want to have his/her name tied to one country? One that spends more on armaments than the rest of the world - *combined*?

    Does one god mean 'my god', or the 'god of humanity' or the 'god of the world'?

    I will not labour on the breaches of the Hebrew Commandments within the American (I assume this is North American?) system of government and social life.

    I would arge that one must live very simply, avoid complex and wide ranging relationships and economic activities if one is to hold onto the notion of 'good' and 'evil'.

    We speak of the 'evils' of the modern age and forget the horrors of the past - of the wars in the Middle East from before biblical times, the atrocities in Europn in the stone age, the Pax Romana, the destruction of Pagan Europe by the Roman Church, the Protestantising of England and Norther Europe, the spread of Europan Christianity and political power in empire building. None of these were in any way peaceful.
    Humans do have a nasty streak, it is for each to do what they can and continue to do what they can to combat that which lies beyond the good.
     
  17. Kaspar

    Kaspar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm feeling this thread.
    I like that because it sounds realistic.

    Heres a theory
    Do you think good & Evil could be explained by human biology? Maybe, When we think something is Evil or wrong it is because we've got an influx of some certian chemical rushing around our blood stream. That depending on what food you eat like if you eat animals that have lead a happy life with freedom it gives you lots of the "Good Chemical" or if you live in a house you built yourself, out of materials that a happy worker has crafted, you have more positive chemicals drifting through your walls?

    One thing I definately think is a fact is that if you are looking for EVIL you will see it. Simply because it is what you're focussing on. If we start breaking the world down into absolutes like either - Bomb the middle east ...or... - be bombed by the middle east. Which is George W Bushes theology then we start making yourselves difficult choices and giving ourselves a hard time.
    An example to my arguement is if you, reading this thread, want to argue with my post, you will be looking for things that don't make sense (like this point and the point before) so you will find statements that don't correspond. But on the otherhand if you are looking for interesting ideas that don't really copy to other ideas on this site you (hopefully) will find some. I think the moral is to look for good in people, look for things you like in posts then you will have yourself a nice situation with easier choices.

    Back to good and Evil. I have another theory about what are the REAL deep down sources of our different interpretations of the two terms.

    I think that the Universe and all people are constantly expanding and dying. They enjoy expandingbut are reluctant towards destruction. I think this expansion is Good & right and destruction is Evil & wrong.

    Lets look at some examples and how my theory would relate to them.
    The ten commandments
    I. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.
    -This would destroy the intensity of the worshippers relationship with God.
    II. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
    -This would also destroy the perfection, wholeness and simple Amazingness of God.
    III. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.

    -Destroys the honour and speciality of Gods name
    IV. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    -opposite, about leaving time to let other intrests grow to be creative, not to continously work but to think about God & let your knowledge and experience of God grow.
    V. Honour thy father and thy mother.

    -not destroying a precious relationship that will help you through life.
    VI. Thou shalt not kill.
    -obvious don't destroy life

    I could go on to "VII. Thous shalt not commit adultery." but I think that would be dragging the point. I am trying to show how creativity and destruction could be good descriptions of what good and Evil actually are whatever religion, culture or education we have.

    Respect
     
  18. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,125
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting that GOD did not wish us to learn good -v- evil in the first place......

    Gen 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil...for what you eat of it you will surely die."

    But yet we could eat from any tree of life.

    So if we had no knowledge of evil what would life be like? I would say that there would be nothing evil to consider for what we think/know we do create with our consciousness.

    So when will people stop eating from that same old tree and change their consciousness ?

    Food for thought......

    being love


    kim xx
     
  19. Bellamente

    Bellamente Escaping Reality

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would have to agree. Though since God is all-knowing he knew Eve was going to eat from that tree. Free will in my opinion is something you need in life in order to learn. If we had no evil or sin, we would not be able to learn from our mistakes.
     
  20. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,125
    Likes Received:
    0
    But he also sent Jesus Christ to provide a new commandment of love that would eradicate the darkness and I truly hold on to the hope of the prophecies being fulfilled.

    That there will be a future for humanity of complete peace once we have moved through to the other side of the end times.

    If not I might as well go home now!

    Big smiles!

    Love beyond measure

    kim xx
     

Share This Page